Here’s a fun, inexpensive date to do with your sweetie. This is what we did for our sealing anniversary this year. It took some planning to come up with some thing for each letter, but after that it was fairly simple.
Here’s the How:
1) I started by making a list of the ABC’s down one side of a piece of paper and then went back and filled in each letter with activities that started with that letter. For example, A is my intro letter to the whole date, so I chose to do A is for Adventure. B is Breakfast in Bed. I is for Ice Cream. L is for Lunch. S is for Sonic Run – sometimes you just NEED a slushie or Dr. Pepper with fresh limes. U-X were a little more “Mommy and Daddy” activity oriented… And Z is for Zzzz’s. It’s the last one (obviously) and closes out the day. (To protect the innocent and keep things family-friendly here, I blacked out some of the letters. If you really want to know what they were, you can download the whole list HERE.)
2) I typed up a little clue for each letter and then printed it out and cut them apart.
3) After I put Little Monkey to bed one night, I sat down with my Netflix Instant service and folded 26 little envelopes. You could totally just use something so much more simple; but, I figured for this anniversary, I’d go a little more all out. And, it seems, I have more time than money. I already had the scrapbook paper and everything else. All it took was time. I used an alphabet stamp set (that I got for half off, woot woot!) and stamped each letter on one of the little envelopes.
4) Then, I put each clue in the corresponding envelope and sealed it. A couple of the envelopes had things in them too (K needed some Kiss Coupons and R was a coupon for a massage). I made everything small enough to fit in the envelopes. There are a couple letters that will be attached to larger items as well. A CD will be attached to E (entertainment).
5) Now, for the actually date. I made sure that we had no pressing plans one Saturday. When we woke up, I handed My Mr. Right the little “A” envelope. He looked at me like “Oh, great. What little scheme did she concoct now?” He hates surprises and I love them, so he never does them and I do them all the time. Might seem a little counter productive, but we’ve decided to just live with it. Anyway, he opened it and the day began. We both made breakfast and the the plan was to eat it in bed, but we decided that that was better suited for a meal without Little Monkey. Maybe not the most romantic thing ever, but hey this is real life.
6) We continued through the alphabet. Sometimes the letters were given out close together and sometimes there were an hour or more between letters. I printed myself out an extra copy of the clues, so I could make sure to give them out when they needed to be. I’m working with mommy brain and pregnancy brain here, so I need all the help I can get. Enter my cheat sheet.
7) It was a great day. I planned inexpensive activities that would fit easily into our budget and that we enjoy. Playing at the park, rummaging the thrift store, an easy (yet very yummy) lunch at home. I spiced up my dinner plans a bit by doing crock pot rosemary and garlic chicken with alfredo penne. Easy and not prep time intensive, so it allowed me to spend time with my family, yet it received rave reviews. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a fun day and make some great memories.
8) If you don’t have a whole day, that’s ok. You have options! Split the date into several dates. I saw (I don’t have any idea where though, if you’ve seen it too, let me know where so I can throw in a shout out) one couple who did a date with one letter each week/month. They went and rode go-karts for G, had a picnic for P, went to the drive-in movies for D. Things they had wanted to do, but never did. It was great motivation to step away from the “dinner and a movie dates”. If you only have an evening, pack the letters together. You could do Appetizers, Beverage, (Main) Course, and Dessert all for dinner. Or get food-specific. Be creative. Coming up with your activites for each letter will take you the longest of the whole planning process, but spread it over a week or so and it shouldn’t be too bad.
This was such a fun date. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but when does life ever? We had a couple of extra errands to run that we squeezed into the schedule. Grocery shopping isn’t really romantic, but we still were able to spend the time together. Little Monkey didn’t nap for very long and that cut into a few activities. Our lunch was so big and late (not to mention delicious) that we didn’t eat dinner until 8pm. Oh, and My Mr Right came back from his business trip sick. And he’s been so kind as to share… Thanks, Honey (if you’ve ever been pregnant and sick at the same time, you know you can’t take any of the good drugs. You just have to suffer). Things still worked out just fine. Sometimes TIME is the very best gift.
If you do your own ABC Date, I’d love to hear about it. I spend a lot of time in planning some of our date nights and those are the ones that are always the most memorable. Sometimes, it’s nice to do an easy dinner and movie date night. I promise that camping on the living room floor, your little beach party, an at-home spa night, or the bookstore date will be remembered far more than the weekly (or monthly) dinner and a movie.
So, go romance your sweetie and put a little thought into it. It really is the thought that counts sometimes. Have fun!